Yet another 60s Screening Room, this week complete with racial tension.

This week’s episode:
Pan Am – “Truth or Dare”


I confess it’s been a while since I saw Pan Am. Last time I checked, French air hostess (Gigi? Monique? Noelle?) was singing “Deustchland Uber Alles” and Maggie was showing Connecticut princess Laura how much more Bohemian and well-traveled she is by taking her out for mega-awesome curry in Rangoon. Something happened last week but I can’t be bothered to remember. In fact, I think my indiffernece is best described by the more liberated Kate at a party:


She’s all “oh no you don’t, you can’t write us off as a watered-down version of Alias just yet, even if their costumes were way better than ours!” I’d take Laura more seriously if the customer designer didn’t make her look like Katherine Heigl, in her bottle-blonde mode, when she assumes her human form. The guy at the back in the brown sweater reflects me, nonplussed by her matchy-matchy top, which is adorable but still reminds me that Heigl might be a giant praying mantis in disguise.


The show is clearly determined to go for a match-outfit-to-hair look, given Kate’s fantastic sheath dress here which flatters and accentuates beautifully.


Goran Visnyic looks like, me, symbolically, on the show: ambivalent, slowly tip-toeing into it, a little hesitant about what’s going on. (That, and because I own variations on his entire outfit from head to toe in real life and have a similar hairstyle.)


In a flashback to the worst location for a work party ever, the crew relaxes with a drink in the cabin.


Ladies: you’ve just been in transit in a pressurized tube for God knows how many hours now. Why would you choose to party in that same airspace where hundreds of people have not been allowed enough air to clear out the odours from their various bodily humours? NOT sexy, no matter if you remove those stockings and drape them over the chairs.


Laura, having spent the night with a gorgeous black sailor (Joe, who slept in her living room while she was in her bedroom with the door locked and then unlocked), greets the morning with a knockout of an outfit:



There’s some ungainly drama when the building manager spies a black man wandering around her living room, so Maggie takes Joe out for the day to wander New York. She looks suitably proper in a matching twin cardigan that’s just right with her outfit:


It’s the thoughtful details that makes the ensemble work: the belt, the detailing, the matching purse. Seriously, give her that notorious fascinator Princess Beatrice wore to the Royal Wedding and you’ve got a whole outfit! Joe looks like a model in a “classic American” campaign for The Gap, J. Crew, Banana Republic or American Eagle Outfitters from 1987 through to today.


I’m a bit disappointed with the spy angle to date. Heck, even Family Guy does it better in a 25-second cutaway.

Now that Kate’s been sleeping with an Eastern Bloc (how I’ve missed using that term in everyday conversation … and I just showed my age) diplomat and potential leak / sleeper cell / assassin, she’s grown an emotional attachment to him and has ditched her all-American look for a sleek jumpsuit that somehow looks anachronistic. I expect this sort of ensemble with plunging neckline to have been worn by Grace Jones in 1983, not by a Pan Am air hostess in 1963.


Я все еще разочарован тем, что Кейт не говорит русский. I’m still disappointed that Kate isn’t speaking Russian.


Kate is taken to the CIA office via this guy with the funky hat. I had to stop the episode mid-stream because he looks exactly like Matthew Morrison but, alas, he was not. Still, I think that’s the hat he wore in the Britney Spears episode of Glee from last fall. Also, I like Kate’s smart jacket.


Looking suitably dapper in a suit, this is what I’ve always imagined Bond would look like. In fact, if it weren’t for his thick Eastern European accent, I’m convinced Goran would have made a great 007.

Narration-wise, I’m pleased the show is focusing on a few characters per episode rather than the whole ensemble. It makes the action more cohesive and less cluttered. The tradeoff is that these streamlined, 24 hour storylines result in fewer fashions. Given ABC’s order of five more scripts, methinks the wardrobe budget was the first to go.

At any rate, next week I expect to see an episode devoted only to the Beatnik and the Frenchie (Collette! I remember her name now!), and rotate them in alternate weeks, in which case I can set my calendar by skipping the weeks starring the Cameron sisters. I need to focus on Maggie’s bitchface and Collette’s adorable Gaellic charm.

What’ll it be, Reader? VOTE!